WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The organizers of the Wichita Riverfest say this year’s 50th-anniversary celebration was a success. Wichita Festivals, Inc. says attendance was back to pre-pandemic levels.

A total of 330,000 people are estimated to have attended the nine-day event.

“A rushing river can’t keep Wichitans from having a great time and supporting their community celebration for its 50th Anniversary,” Nancy Duling, Wichita Festivals CEO, said in a news release. “With river events paused for some of the festival due to rapid currents, folks turned their attention to our stellar concert line-up and diverse events. We’re so grateful to the generous sponsors and hard-working volunteers who power this event to success decade after decade, no matter what.”

Here are Riverfest 2022 results to date:

  • 330,000 total estimated attendees:
    • Among the largest-drawing events within the festival were the Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale, the Safelite® AutoGlass Sundown parade, The Drone Show presented by Exploration Place and the Textron Aviation Opening Night Fireworks.
    • The festival’s largest stage show was the first Saturday night concert starring Willie Nelson and Family on the Wichita Acura Dealers Stage.
    • Other huge draws included headliners Grupo Pesado at new full-day Fiesta del río; The Family Stone featuring local artist Rudy Love Jr.; WAR and Gov’t Mule.
  • 16,809 buttons were sold on site during the nine days of the event, with 48,195 more sold off-site, online and at local QuikTrip stores.
  • Food and beverage sales increased by 41% over 2019 with the Quantum Credit Union Food Court back to pre-pandemic size.
  • Merchandise sales were up 35% over 2019, with 50th Anniversary apparel being a highlight.
  • The festival enjoyed a solid safety and security record, with only 7 EMS transports and 2 arrests.
  • 6,712 volunteers assisted with the festival.
  • The Wichita Riverfest 2022 mobile app, powered by Evergy, saw a record number of users with nearly 410,000 views.

Wichita Festivals says attendance and participation results were measured and cross-checked using multiple sources, including attendance clickers at each of the four entry gates; aerial photographs of events; physical measurements of the festival footprint, the Safelite® AutoGlass Sundown Parade route, the Fidelity Bank River Run route, WEEE Entertainment Carnival grounds, Kids’ Corner at A. Price Woodard Park and the Arkansas riverbanks in addition to digital attendance data.